King Soopers plan at 9th and Colorado: Will it calm critics of Walmart at today's meeting?

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Last week, the mayor's office confirmed that Fuqua Development and its capital partner, the Lionstone Group, were negotiating with King Soopers regarding the anchor retail spot in a revised development plan for the former CU Health Sciences Center property at East Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. What went unsaid is that they hope King Soopers won't be as much of a boat anchor as Walmart proved to be, sinking the first plan.

"The city and our partners have worked tirelessly for nearly a decade to create a development at 9th and Colorado that the neighbors -- and the entire city -- can be proud of," Mayor Michael Hancock said in the November 28 release. "Although negotiations are ongoing, I am excited at the prospect of one of Denver's best-known and respected retailers stepping forward to work with us in fulfilling our vision for this area."

To sweeten the pot, the release also mentioned a number of "additional tenants negotiating to locate at the site," emphasizing local roots (if they had them). That list included "Colorado-based Natural Grocers Vitamin Cottage," Home Goods, Larkburger, McAllister's Deli and Tavern Hospitality Group.

Tavern Hospitality Group's inclusion came as a surprise to Frank Schultz, founder of THG, who says he looked at the project some time ago but didn't think it looked right for his Colorado-centric chain of eight restaurants. But now that the site is being redesigned, a spokesman for the developer says they'll be talking to Schultz again.

In fact, there will be plenty of talking this round, to make sure the project doesn't encounter the same roadblocks that stalled it earlier this fall. While most of the early complaints concerned Walmart, many opponents were concerned about subsidizing the deal at all. Financing for the redevelopment of the site would include approximately $21 million in Tax Increment Financing -- which, as the mayor's release notes, "allows the Denver Urban Renewal Authority to receive the new sales and property taxes generated by the redevelopment project to be used for public improvements on the development site, such as building demolition, environmental remediation, roadways and other site improvements."

And the first time to talk about this incarnation will be today, when the Colorado Boulevard Healthcare District will hold its first public meeting since Denver City Councilwomen Mary Beth Susman and Jeanne Robb said they opposed TIF financing for the deal, and Walmart subsequently pulled out.

Susman and Robb will be on hand for today's CBHDM meeting, which will run from 4 to 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Hill Middle School, 451 Clermont Parkway.

While neighbors have embraced plans for a Trader Joe's at Eighth and Colorado, they fought against a Walmart a block away -- a split that emphasized just how divided this swing state can be. From our archives: "Blue State v. Red State: Which Colorado do you live in?"

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.